Gambling often involves exciting and innocent experiences with slot machines. However, there is another side of gambling: every state heavily regulates or criminalizes gambling practices. Because gambling regulations and criminalization is an extensive and complicated area of law, a highly specialized attorney is required to address concerns and questions related to the laws fully. Although the state of Florida criminalizes or regulates many types of gambling, common types of gambling include:

  • Sports Betting
  • Keeping a gambling house
  • Online casinos
  • “Bookmaking”
  • Games of chance (cards, keno, roulette, faro)
  • Bets or wagers money or another valuable item of value for a competition (human competitions, dog racing)

Florida Gambling Attorney

If you have been accused of gambling, we understand that this is a frustrating moment for you. If convicted, you could face significant fines and time spent behind bars. This is why its important to secure the legal counsel of a skilled criminal defense lawyer.

The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. has practiced law since 1996 and can explore the options available to you based on your specific situation. Allow us to provide excellent representation and guidance throughout the entire legal process.

We represent clients in communities all over the Hernando County area, including Wildwood, Brooksville, Weeki Wachee, New Port Richey, Inverness, Spring Hill, and many others. Call (352) 593-4115 to schedule an initial consultation today.

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Information Center

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Gambling in Florida

The Florida Gaming Commission regulates or enforces penalties for the above activities and many exceptions to gambling laws.

Sports Betting: Sports betting, possibly the most common form of gambling, is placing a wager or bet on the outcome of a sporting event. Most states ban online sports betting yet still allow in-person betting. Florida is a state that has banned both in-person and online sports betting.

Keeping a Gambling House: Often seen in movies, a gambling house is any place, such as a booth, tent, or table. Gambling houses typically exclude one-off instances or family gatherings where a group of people play games and small amounts of money are involved.

Online Casinos: When gaming that might otherwise exist in-person is found online, it is illegal to participate in the online version. Participation in “online casinos” is an illegal activity within the state of Florida. However, several offshore online casinos are accessible and are not regulated or criminalized by the state of Florida.

Bookmaking: It is a crime to take or receive, while in the business or profession of gambling, a bet or wager upon the result of a contest involving speed, power, skills, mechanical device, a game of chance, and others. Florida law provides several factors for courts to consider if charged with a crime. Bookmaking is commonly found in larger gambling schemes but can also occur over a single event. Because bookmaking is so common and can occur under many circumstances, Florida law has broadly defined the crime.

Bets and Wagers on Dog Racing: Outlawed in 2020, greyhound and other forms of dog racing is an illegal activity in Florida. It is also illegal to wager or bet on a dog race, aid or abet the operation of a dog race, and aid or abet wagering or betting at a dog race.

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Gambling And Regulation Of Casinos

Gambling is another crime regulated by the state of Florida. Like bookmaking, gambling is very broadly defined because it frequently occurs under many circumstances. The elements of gambling include:

  1. Playing or engaging
  2. In a card game, keno, roulette, faro, or any other game of chance
  3. At any place
  4. By any device
  5. For money or an item of value

This law has many exceptions, including the occasional games played at home with friends or family when the amount won is under $10.

Gambling in casinos is heavily regulated by the United States federal government’s Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the law that sets standards for gaming on Indian lands. The National Indian Gaming Commission enforces the regulations in the Act. Indian tribes who operate casinos, such as the Seminole Indians of Florida and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians in Florida, are regulated at the federal level.

The Florida Gaming Control Commission regulates gaming at the state level, but it does not have the authority to regulate casinos operated by the Indian tribes.

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Penalties for Gambling in Florida

The numerous gambling crimes have varying penalties.

Sports Betting: A conviction of sports betting is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and up $5,000 in fines.

Keeping a Gambling House: A conviction of keeping a gambling house is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and up to a $500 fine.

Bookmaking: Because of the extensive nature of the crime of bookmaking, penalties are variable and are determined based on the number of factors met as well as whether the defendant is considered a “habitual felony offender.” If convicted, a defendant faces a second or third-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.

Conspiracy to Commit Bookmaking: If a person involved in bookmaking “agrees, conspires, combines, or confederates” with at least one other person to commit bookmaking, that person faces the same criminal penalties and is subject to the same penalties as the crime itself. Because Conspiracy is a separate crime, a defendant could be charged and convicted of both crimes.

Dog Racing, Aiding or Abetting: If convicted of wagering or betting on a dog race or aiding or abetting another person’s involvement in wagering or betting in a dog race, a person faces a first-degree misdemeanor and up to a year in prison and fines up to $1,000.

Only a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can build the best defense possible and work to achieve the best outcome possible for every person charged with a gambling crime.

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Additional Resources

Gambling Crimes and Penalties – While the above lists include several gambling crimes and their penalties, the Florida Legislature website provides a complete list of gambling crimes.

Florida Gaming Commission – The Commission’s website provides statutes, information for the public, and a place to file complaints for concerns related to illegal gaming.

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Brooksville Gambling Attorney | Hernando County, FL

If you have been arrested for gambling, contact The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A.. Brooksville criminal defense lawyer Ashley Aulls at The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. can represent you in court and in registration removal proceedings. He’ll utilize his experience, skills, and resources to work for your case.

The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. serves clients in Hernando County, Citrus County, and Sumter County. Call (352) 593-4115 to schedule an initial consultation with The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. today.

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